Local MP, Stephen O'Brien, has received a letter from the Transport Minister following representations to have the A525 through Audlem de-primed to reduce the number of long-distance heavy goods vehicles passing through the village. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, says:
"Thank you for your letter of 24 July addressed to Ruth Kelly enclosing correspondence from (your constituents) regarding the A525 through South Cheshire. I am replying as I have Ministerial responsibility for this issue. I apologise for the delay in replying.
"I am sorry residents of Audlem living along the A525 are experiencing difficulties caused by heavy goods vehicles using this route. (They suggest) the solution is 'de-priming' the section of the A525 that forms part of the Primary Route Network (PRN). Audlem Parish Plan Steering Group should pursue this issue with the local highway authorities responsible for managing the A525, (Cheshire CC and Shropshire CC).
"The Highways Authorities would then consider whether there is a case for de-priming part or all of the A525 that remains within the Primary Route Network, including an assessment of future levels in the area. Suitability of alternative routes (including those suggested) to take unrestricted traffic should be considered alongside other changes including necessary route re-signing. A formal submission is required from the Authorities to Government for the North West.
"Any additions or changes to the Primary Route Network, or Primary Route Destinations, suggested by the Highway Authorities would then be considered by the Government Office for the North West, which would make a recommendation to the Department of Transport's Strategic Roads, Projects and Operations Division.
For information, it is generally assumed that the National Primary Route Network is complete; therefore any proposed deletions and additions are generally expected to complement each other.
Again, apologies for the delay. If I can be of further assistance, do let me know"
Yours sincerely, Jim Fitzpatrick.
The Parish Plan team that pulled together the submission to the Ministry of Transport will now consider the next step. This will initially involve unraveling the mystery of who actually makes any decisions – is it the Transport Minister; Cheshire County Council; Shropshire County Council; the Government Office of the North West (who, of course, do not cover Shropshire, which is in the West Midlands); the Highways Authority; or the Strategic Roads, Projects and Operations Division of the Ministry of Transport. And doubtless, as in the past Staffordshire County Council have had a major say in this issue, they will be involved too!
More on this as we attempt to unravel the mystery.
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